The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Barracuda Life Skills

 

July 17, 2019

Barracuda swimmers have taught me once again the real value of a sport. This last weekend I attended the swim meet at Conrad both Saturday and Sunday. I was going to interview the kids, but to be honest they couldn't give me a complete story to write about because they all said the same thing. "The best part of swimming is meeting new friends."

That sentence doesn't say it all. Maybe because they wouldn't express it the way I write it. Meeting new friends means so much more and they have fun for two whole days. Yes, they hang out together under trees in the shade, or they eat meals together at the end of the day. Yes, they laugh easily and loudly together or support each other during a race. They are healthy competitors. Peers that don't stab each other in the back. Peers that acknowledge someone is better than themselves. Peers that honestly are proud of their friend's accomplishments.

Little first timers, were scared to swim. You could see them sitting on their parent's lap with mom or dad's arms around them. If not the parents, coaches would be holding them, but when it was their time to swim they would stand up, square their shoulders and march to the staging area. Yes, every one of them made it to the end of the pool. They were proud, as well they should be because they are learning to face their fears and overcome them. Imagine a world where we all could face our fears and act-it is one of the greatest skills taught.

The Barracuda swimmers are learning powerful social skills. They are learning to be leaders. With each swim, they improve even if it's only .01 of a second. They have learned the value of hard-work, work outs are difficult. All sports have difficult workouts, but swimming uses different muscles, and your lungs get a different work out as well. Swimming is tiring because you work at doing "no breathers" which means you breath after you've pushed yourself to the limit.

It was also rewarding to me to see every body shape running around with nothing on but a swim suit, and honestly they didn't care that their bodies weren't perfect. There was a young obese man who swam. No, he never won and he had difficulty getting out of the pool, but he swam. He was rewarded for his efforts. I was so impressed. He inspired me!

 
 

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